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Academics

Elementary Spanish Immersion Program

Oakland Christian School students have the unique opportunity to be bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural at an early age. Through our Spanish Immersion partnership with add.a.lingua, dual language immersion experts, we offer a comprehensive language immersion program.  This program, which makes OCS unique in our surrounding community, begins in Prekindergarten and extends all the way through high school.  Strategic curriculum shifts at pivotal points in the Spanish Immersion timetable ensure that students grow and learn in Spanish and English.  Because second language acquisition is best at an early age, students may enter this program at any time up until the first trimester of first grade.


Early Grades / Pre-K- Grade 2

  • 100% of content instruction (Reading, Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Bible) is taught in Spanish.
  • Enrichment classes (Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology, Chapel) are taught in English.
  • All OCS Elementary students share lunch, recess, and chapel.


Upper Grades / Grades 3 – 5

  • 80-90% of content instruction is taught in Spanish.
  • 10-15% of the content is taught in English.
  • Enrichment classes are taught in English.
  • Social Studies and Bible (grades 4-5) taught in English
  • All OCS Elementary students share lunch, recess, and chapel.


Secondary School / Grades 6 – 12

Continued immersion in specified classes 


Why join a dual language immersion program?

  • Cognitive Benefits - Positive intellectual growth and mental development.  "Acquiring more than one language may increase the ability to problem solve." (Lyster, 2007)
  • Academic Benefits - Students gain more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.  "Dual language classes appear to increase the Reading and Math achievement of all students regardless of subgroup." (Wayne, Collier, V. & Collier, K, 2010)
  • Social Benefits - Increased opportunities in academic options, cultural experiences, and future careers.  "Students develop a deeper regard and understanding of various cultures." (Hamayan et al., 2000)

FAQ’s
 

1. What have been the results since Oakland Christian started Spanish Immersion in 2015?

  • We have retained our families throughout the program. Parent satisfaction is very high. The majority of parents that look into the program become highly motivated to join the program.
  • Our oldest class in the program has been assessed in English (while being taught the core subjects in Spanish) on nationally normed assessments (NWEA MAP) over all their years in the program. The results show that our students have met or exceeded grade-level expectations in reading, math, language, and science. This is strong evidence to the claim that knowledge transfers between languages.
  • We have retained our teaching staff as they continue to grow professionally with the prescribed training from add.a.lingua.
  • Our students have excelled in communicating in Spanish in places where only Spanish is spoken. Many of our students have been on family trips in Spanish-speaking areas and their child is successfully communicating in that environment with parents hearing, “your child speaks so well in Spanish and also their accent is great.”

2. Why don’t we see more schools offering dual language immersion education?

Spanish Immersion at Oakland Christian School is only unique to southeast Michigan. In other parts of the country (especially in the south) school districts and private schools are much further along in offering dual language programs. Here in Michigan, the west side of the state has multiple Spanish immersion schools much further along in their programs than we are here.
Students in other countries around the world have been involved in dual language learning where English is the target language at school and their first language is what is spoken in their country for decades. Many people from other countries are having successful careers in the US because of their ability to be bilingual. The research on the benefits of dual language education continues to mount in favor of this type of instruction.
  

3. What does it mean to be an add.a.lingua immersion partner?

Oakland Christian School is part of a professional learning network that implements add.a.lingua immersion programs and follows a specific program design, participates in a comprehensive professional learning sequence, implements formative assessments on a set schedule, and receives access to the most relevant research in the field of dual language immersion education.

4. Why did Oakland Christian School choose to partner with add.a.lingua?

By licensing add.a.lingua materials, participating in on-going professional learning, and regularly assessing our immersion students in the language of instruction, Oakland Christian has committed itself to the highest standards of excellence in dual language immersion education.

5. Who is responsible for student success and the day-to-day work of instruction?

Partnering with add.a.lingua empowers Oakland Christian to do its best work and to fulfill our promise of developing biliterate, academically successful and culturally competent students. Our partnership with add.a.lingua ensures that we have a plan and expert guidance; Oakland Christian is responsible for building an outstanding team of immersion teachers and helping all our students be successful.


 


Contact Information:

Mr. Gordon Nickel
Elementary Principal
gnickel@oaklandchristian.com
 

Mrs. Vonda Morga
Spanish Immersion Coordinator
vmorga@oaklandchristian.com